Notes from second Scratch club...
What went well?
- Some of the kids are already developing quite advanced games
- Still lots of enthusiasm and excitement about the club
- Demos still a real motivation
What could be improved?
- What we learnt last time hasn't stuck for many kids
- Still lots of dependence on me, frequently kids stuck waiting for me to answer a question
- Sometimes excitement spills over and kids find it hard to settle back to the task
- A few kids find it challenging to concentrate for more than a few minutes.
Ideas for improvements
- Plan each lesson with some overlap on the last lesson: build on things already covered to reinforce learning.
- Visit every kid in rotation for Q&A, stop kids shouting out for answers and encourage them to try to find solutions first while they wait for me to come round.
- Some cheat sheets or tips for common tasks and reinforce things we've covered, such as: getting a sprite to follow the mouse, getting a sprite to bounce around the screen, using the cursor keys to move a sprite.
- Try answering individual's questions to the whole group, e.g. on the white board so that everyone can see the answer.
- Nominate a random helper each week to help the group?
- Send some resources to parents to help kids be practice at home, e.g. starting out with Scratch.
- Create some tasks to practice at home.
Programming concepts discovered:
Bear in mind that many things covered last week had been forgotten!
- If-statements and events such as speech bubbles and sounds
- Some of the sensing instructions, such as touching another sprite
- Broadcasting messages to change the background, e.g. to "You've won!"
As before, not all children got all of these.
I think next week it should be less about learning new things, and more about creating a better learning experience (see above).
- If-statements to make things happen (e.g. killed by a monster)
- Sequencing and nesting commands, what difference does it make?
- Logic: one thing and another happening, 'or', 'not', etc.
- Moving along more interesting paths, e.g. spirals, random paths
- Variables to control aspects of the game